Summer Brenner

Summer Brenner

Summer Brenner was raised in Georgia and drifted northeast to Boston, over the Atlantic, out west to New Mexico, and eventually to the Bay Area where she has been a long-time resident.

Currently, she works in Richmond, California, focusing on literacy and youth. She is author of a dozen books of poetry and fiction, including the noir thriller from PM, I-5, A Novel of Crime, Transport, and Sex; and short story collection, My Life in Clothes. Forthcoming from PM is Nearly Nowhere, first published in France by Gallimard’s la serie noire.

Works for young people include Richmond Tales, Lost Secrets of the Iron Triangle, winner of 2010 Historic Preservation award from the City of Richmond; and recently from Reach & Teach/PM, IVY, Homeless in San Francisco, Silver Award Winner for the Children’s Literary Classics Book Awards in the category of pre-teen fiction.

Ivy, Homless in San Francisco also was recently awarded the Bronze medal in the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards, in the category of pre-teen fiction.

Click here for an interview with Summer on KPFK or get the podcast of her interview with David Wilk on Writers Cast.

For more information, visit


Nearly Nowhere

Nearly Nowhere

SKU: 9781604863062
Author: Summer Brenner
Publisher: PM Press/Switchblade
ISBN: 9781604863062
Published: 9/2012
Format: Paperback, ePub, mobi, PDF
Size: 5.5 x 8
Page count: 192
Subject: Fiction


“With her beautifully wrought sentences and dialogue that bring characters alive, Summer Brenner weaves a gripping and dark tale of mysterious crime based in spiritually and naturally rich northern New Mexico and beyond.”
—Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, historian and writer, author of Roots of Resistance: A History of Land Tenure in New Mexico

“Summer Brenner’s Nearly Nowhere has the breathless momentum of the white-water river her characters must navigate en route from a isolated village in New Mexico to a neo-Nazi camp in Idaho. A flawed but loving single mother, a troubled teen girl, a good doctor with a secret, a murderous sociopath—this short novel packs enough into its pages to fight well above its weight class.”
—Michael Harris, author of The Chieu Hoi Saloon

“To the party, Summer Brenner brings a poet’s ear, a woman’s awareness, and a soulful intent, and her attention has enriched every manner of literary endeavor graced by it.”
—Jim Nisbet, author of A Moment of Doubt and Snitch World

“It’s because the characters are so richly drawn, the writing so elegant, the rural Western landscape so exquisitely described, that you don’t realize at first what Brenner has done to you; how she’s loaded up the dory, strapped you in, and loosed you down this terrifying river. And, then, of course, it’s too late. Nearly Nowhere is a beautiful and chilling novel.”
—Benjamin Whitmer, author of Pike

Ivy: Homeless in San Francisco

Ivy: Homless in San Francisco

SKU: 9781604863178
Author: Summer Brenner • Illustrator: Brian Bowes
Publisher: PM Press / Reach And Teach
ISBN: 9781604863178
Published: 6/2011
Format: Paperback, ePub, mobi, PDF
Size: 6 x 9
Page count: 176
Subjects: Fiction, Social Science (Ages 10 and up)


Ivy is an engaging, educational experience, with emotional range, density of characters, a cinematic visual imagination, and a heroine wild at heart. We have a lot to learn about homelessness, and Summer Brenner’s saga of fractured family and redeeming friendship takes us deep inside the experience, while agitating our broader concern with social justice. All this in a lucid, poetic prose. She not only will get young people to read but make them want to write as well.” —John Broughton, associate professor of psychology & education, Teachers College, Columbia University

Ivy is a story of homelessness. It is full of risk and tenderness, pain and insight all mixed with fear and hope. Author Summer Brenner engages readers by setting a course for a young girl and her father that requires connection and kindness in an uneasy world. Genuine characters tell the tale that is at once prickly and gentle. Readers will gain a picture of what over 1.5 million children in the U.S. experienced this year. Ivy is a lovely book on a tough condition.” —Lyn Palme, library specialist, Contra Costa County, CA

“Summer Brenner’s Ivy, Homeless in San Francisco, wraps itself around enough realism to give young readers hope that there are good people in our world and that good things do happen, often when least expected. My sixth grade San Francisco Bay Area English students always enjoy the magic that envelops Ivy. Summer’s poetic language captures the essence of San Francisco.” —Janet Volkmann, teacher, Oakland Unified School District

“This is a truly remarkable tale of an all-too-common plight faced by many people. Yet nothing about this story is common… This book will teach your kids truth and forgiveness in the strangest yet most comforting of ways. I also feel you will find yourself unable to put this book down whether you’re a teenager or an adult. Packed with emotion and love, this is a book that needs to be read. You will cry and laugh, but most of all you will wonder to yourself, ‘Bad luck, good luck. Who knows?’” —CL,

“…Lolitas, Oliver Twists, and Huckleberry Finns live on, and now, Ivy’s tale of hope lives right alongside them.” —Robin Clewley, San Francisco Chronicle

“[The novel] teaches students what it’s like to be homeless. It also deals with the foster care system, the importance of family, and keeping hope for the future. Seventh and eighth graders at James Denman Middle School in San Francisco were so inspired by the book that they made a quilt about the story of Ivy.” —California Educator

“Summer Brenner has written a quirky, clever story about a young girls’ journey through the streets and homeless shelters of San Francisco… Ivy is fictional, but her circumstances are honest reflections of life for the many homeless children… With its happy ending, this novel strikes a good balance between reality and sensibility.” —San Jose Mercury News

Book Events

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Check out Summer Brenne, M. Dante, and Steven Jay Schwartz at The Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, October 15th, 2015



Check out Summer Brenner talking about Jewish Noir on Mosaic November 15th, 2015